Is iAnimate Worth Your Money?
I finished a course at the online school iAnimate, where I followed the Games Workshop 2 : Combat, Takedowns and Advanced Techniques. I'd like to walk you through my experience, week after week, so you can live with me what's it's like to be a student in this school. Ultimately, help you decide : IS iANIMATE WORTH YOUR MONEY?
If I recommend reading the whole post for obvious reasons, you can quickly find my opinion right underneath.
MY OPINION It's worth your money. But it's too pricey.
iAnimate will give you precious keys to better understand how to develop your potential : animation tips, professional feedback, personal advice, networking... those are extremely valuable ressources. To that, add the school's great social media exposure. However, as any shcool, it won't make you the next best game animator in the market, or grant you of a remakable animation piece. This, is up to your implication. iAnimate is expensive. At that price tag, be immensively picky on both your teacher and class content. Make sure your teacher is one of the best in its field. Make sure the class assigments are relevant to what you pursue, so you can integrate them in a reel that will hopefully land you that dream job. I personally was disapointed to see that some students were still allowed to attend the course even though their implication in the homework was lacking, to not say missing. This is precious sleeptime I could have saved, waiting for my turn to come during late review classes. Even though everyone should get his/her chance to be taught animation, supporting irresponsible behaviors doesn't send a professional image. I was also disapointed to find after the course was paid that the initial teacher I enrolled for wasn't available, even though he was listed on the school's website (which might have been an honest mistake).
What's iAnimate? An online animation school (mostly) , where teachers are currently animators working in the industry.
How much is it?
My workshop (Games Workshop 2 ) is $1,698 USD.
How long is it? 11 weeks.
Who paid for it?
My company, Compulsion Games. Who's my teacher? Jeremy Collins (Blizzard, previously Disney).
What is it about? Delivering two polished action sequences (one combo attack, one melee attack). Which software is used?
What's the language? English, good level recommended.
What's the class like? It's a group video call. Every Tuesday is a lecture (~1 hour), every Thursday is a review (~15mins per student). When does it happen? At the time the teacher is available. Mine teaches at 9PM California's time, making it 12AM Montreal's time.
Is there homework? Yes, due for every review (Thursday). What's the "level" of the class? Mixed. I'm surrounded by students and animators from the industry. Is there interaction with the teacher? Absolutely. You're free and encouraged to ask questions. Is there interaction with the other students? Not really in my class. Communication is encouraged, though everyone spends more time listening than talking.
Week 1 :
Lecture : introduction to the course
Review : 3 poses from reference + reference for the combo attack
Week 2 :
Lecture : blocking (part 1) Review : blocking (1st pass) based on the reference
Week 3 : Lecture : blocking (part 2) Review : blocking (2nd pass) with more attention to timing.
Week 4 : Lecture : Splining (part1). Review : Splining + camera (1st pass)
Week 5 :
Lecture : Splining (part 2) + misc.
Review : Splining + camera (2nd pass)
Week 6 :
Lecture : Approach to takedowns
Review : Last review for the 1st assignment (combo attack)
Final Pass Render (almost final - animation still needs small adjustments)
Week 7 :
Lecture : Layered animation (part 1)
Review : bockingl for the takedown assignment video to come Week 8 :
Lecture : Layered animation (part 2)
Review : blocking 2nd pass for the takedown assignment And... I didn't finish my second assignment. My animation piece was too large and I couldn't finish it in time. As we often say in animation, failure is where you learn the most : I definitely learnt that scoping right is a very important part of an animator's job.